How do we find human connection? Being “in with the out crowd?” An author and poet finds peers on the pier.  Specifically, on the Pacifica Pier, closed this January due to storm damage.

As we eagerly await its reopening, we re-present Toni Mirosevich reading from her book Spell Heaven and other stories and telling us about finding connection on the pier.

In Spell Heaven, a lesbian couple moves to a coastal town and unexpectedly finds a sense of belonging with a group of outsiders. The collection, set in “Seaview,” reflects on finding meaning and connection in an increasingly isolated world.

Seaview is a name Mirosevich dreamt up for the real town of Pacifica, where she lives, just down the coast from San Francisco. Spell Heaven mirrors her actual life. The book’s narrator, like her, is a retired creative writing professor looking for meaning.

“I saw a sign on a post down by the sea one day. It said ‘I’ve lost something. I don’t know what it is. Can you help me find it?’ And I thought, that’s very true to who this narrator is,” says Mirosevich. Like many of us “she’s lost some kind of meaning, some kind of connection.” Her stories show how dropping presumptions about others, and making friends out of strangers, can rebuild connection.

In the title story, a child’s note found on the pier gets Mirosevich musing on different meanings of “heaven.” (Listen for it about halfway through our conversation.)

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This episode was edited by Christopher J Beale and first aired in June 2022. Photo of Pacifica Municipal Pier by Toni Mirosevich.

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